Welcome to Diabetes Can’t Stop Me – a blog, and community all about living life with diabetes and ALL its ups and downs. I am Helen Edwards, person with type 1 diabetes, writer and blogger, diabetes advocate, ex diabetes educator and counsellor, and am currently completing my PhD. I am mama to 3 gorgeous boys, and lover of people and planet.
I have lived with type 1 diabetes since 1979 when I was 12 years old and worked in diabetes since 2001 when I started a website called Diabetes Counselling Online - a world first, groundbreaking free online diabetes counselling service and community, supporting literally thousands and thousands of people all over the world living with diabetes. I ran this until 2016, when we closed our doors.
When I started way back in 2001, I felt that more needed to be done for the wellbeing and mental health of all people with diabetes. People with diabetes suffer up to twice the rates of depression compared to the rest of the population, reduced wellbeing and increased stress and anxiety. We can live wonderful lives, but support from health care professionals, loved ones and other people with diabetes is vital. At that time, online counselling was in its infancy in Australia and there was no Diabetes Online Community (DOC) social media at the time!
So I created my own, with email buddies and a forum and chat room. If you were around then, you may remember those days! Around that time, the world was just starting to realise that diabetes was more than just blood glucose. There started to be small movements towards looking at the person behind the disease, which has gladly grown over time.
I was a groundbreaker in this area, and won many grants and awards for my work in diabetes over the following decade, including the Australasian DAWN Award (Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs).
I was able to grow the organisation and we did some amazing work across many years. I was awarded a state finalist spot in the Australian of the year awards in 2016 for this work, and a state finalist spot in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year awards, in the social good category.
I am a PhD Candidate studying diabetes and pregnancy wellbeing and my first part of this study was published here. I am continuing this research at the moment, looking at how we can improve Preparedness for pregnancy through better communication between health care professionals and women with diabetes, and access to support and information.
In 2012 I won a government grant that allowed us to grow our diabetes counselling services and help thousands of people. We also created some brilliant resources, including my children's picture book - Diabetes Can't Stop Me, and an ebook on Diabetes Burn Out.
However life changes, and after 15 years and some amazing years helping so many people, it was time for us to close Diabetes Counselling Online in mid 2016.
After a little break, I returned to relaunch this site as Diabetes Can't Stop Me.
Here is a little bit of press around my work.
I look forward to connecting with you and sharing the journey of life with diabetes together. Head to the blog here for lots of tips, stories and information
*Please remember we do not give personal medical advice or make changes to your diabetes management. Information on this site should not be used for diagnosing or treating diabetes. Nor should information found here take the place of the advice of your doctor or medical team. Always see your diabetes specialist if you have concerns about your diabetes care. Please contact your usual doctor with any urgent medical concerns and/or attend your local Emergency Department in a medical emergency and do not delay. Online information should never take the place of your doctor's advice and care.
Links to information about the medical aspects of diabetes can be found here, but Diabetes Can't Stop Me, Helen Edwards and anyone connected to this website, take no responsibility for any information obtained via any link; or advice provided by another member of the public in discussions held in our Facebook group. It is up to you to make your own decisions about such information provided in these forums.